Maybe Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is not as far away as everyone thinks.
Five ways Nintendo has changed the game with its latest console announcement.
My reaction to the Nintendo Switch preview trailer.
Spoiler Warning: Please keep in mind this article openly discusses the opening moments of Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE and Zootopia.
I was able to try Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE for the first time this morning, and while I could not play much, I really enjoyed the opening moments. However, I started randomly making correlations with the start of the game and the early moments of the Disney animated film Zootopia. It may sound silly and a huge stretch on my part, but here are the similarities I found.
For starters, Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE starts with a flashback from the perspective of Tsubasa, one of the main characters of the game. She appears to be watching her family perform in a play when suddenly everyone in the theater disappears. She appears traumatized by the whole situation and the scene ends with a flash forward to the present day.
Now, coincidentally, Zootopia also starts with a play. The main character Judy Hopps performs in a play, with her parents in attendance, as she proclaims that she wants to become a police officer, which is unheard of her species. This draws the ire of a local fox delinquent, and while it doesn’t happen during the play, Judy suffers her own trauma at the hands of this fox after she to protect her friends from him. Judy then dusts herself off and vows to pursue her dream even further as the scene ends in its own flash forward.
Sure, these are circumstantial similarities, but the following moments are what got me thinking about this in the first place. Back in Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE Tsubasa, now several years older, is seen leaving her class to secretly participate in an upcoming idol event. On her way there she listens to her favorite idol, Kiria, and the song “Reincarnation,” which is played throughout the rest of the opening credits and was also used in this game’s first gameplay.
In Zootopia, Judy is able to get through her grueling police academy training to realize her dream of becoming a police officer. After bidding farewell to her family, she boards a train bound for Zootopia. Right before the fabled city is in sight, Judy pops in her earphones, brings up her favorite singer, Gazelle, on her music player and listens to the song “Try Everything” as her train rears into Zootopia. “Try Everything” not only correlates with a lot of the messaging of the film, but it’s also the main song of the movie.
While this may just be me stretching similar themes as far as they can go, I’m surprised how many connections I was able to find. From both opening with a play, with the respective heroines suffering from some sort of traumatic event, to listening to their favorite songs that just happen to be the main theme songs of their respective stories, it’s pretty cool to see how similar they are in the opening moments. I’m just getting started with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE, but if I can find anymore “connections,” I be sure to Press (and maybe Turn) about them!
As an added bonus, check out the original Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE gameplay trailer and the official “Try Everything” music video below. Not only will you get to listen to the songs mentioned above, but you may even spot a few scenes listed in this article.
With The Legend of Zelda Wii U set to finally get its day in the spotlight at E3 2016, I wanted to do some last-minute speculation on the upcoming Wii U game. With that, I wanted to theorize something that I’ve been wondering about for a long while: Link has been featured in every Zelda Wii U video without his tunic. Isn’t it strange that we have yet to see the Hero of Time where his iconic garb, especially considering the game is looking to get back the roots of the series with a vast open world to explore?
One reason I’ve heard for this is that this is simply early in the game and Link does not have his tunic yet. It is true that several Zelda games over the last few years have had Link wear civilian clothes before obtaining his green outfit, mainly for a story related reason. This is meant as a symbolic connection to other Links and basically establishes him as the hero of the story. However, considering these glimpses of the game are basically teasers, why would the developers go so far as to not show his tunic. Without any context, we would not know at what point these events take place. I don’t know why, but I don’t think this is just because Link is just starting out on his adventure.
Considering the fact that Link is already saddled with Epona, as well as several items including a bow with different types of arrows, a shield, two different swords and a Sheikah item attached to his hip, one would assume his adventure is well under way. Not only that, he also has a cloak that mostly seems to hide his face. This cloak has also held some mystery as people have tried to figure out it’s origins. It’s also a recurring element in every game trailer so far, as Link is seen wearing it at one point or another.
The cloak may be an item that players can find and equip on Link to change his appearance. Gamexplain theorized that Link my fight enemies using stealthy methods, similar to Snake in Metal Gear Solid 3. In that game, Snake had a wide range of outfits that allowed him to blend into the environment. Maybe Link can obtain different cloaks in the game world, which would kind of make sense. In a world this big and the series use of chests scattered throughout the world, you have to fill them with something besides rupees and heart pieces.
Another theory I have is that the tunic is a more significant item this time around. Maybe it serves a similar role as the Master Sword, another important series item symbolic of the Hero of Time. Maybe it’s something Link has to earn, rather than be something he’s given as a symbolic gesture.
One issue with thit theory is that Link’s outfit and cloak seem mostly unchanged throughout the footage and artwork released for the game. I just can’t shake the fact that Link has yet to be seen in his green garb. The original E3 2014 teaser, the Game Awards footage and the short teaser last year and both pieces of art show Link in this blue outfit. I don’t think there is any other Zelda game that had this much build up without having Link in his trademark outfit.
Whatever the case, the mystery may finally be revealed at E3 2016. The Legend of Zelda Wii U will finally be shown off, and I’m really excited to see this game in more detail than ever before. While the mystery of Link’s missing tunic may not be initially revealed, the first official showcase of this long-awaited game is sure to be full of surprises!
After the news last week about Nintendo not having a Digital Event at this year’s E3, I wanted to give my thoughts on that. Basically, I’m okay with it. One of my favorite things from last year’s E3 was the Nintendo World Championship. It was a surprisingly fun event with great moments in one the purest gaming competitions I’ve ever seen. (I actually wrote an oprainfall article on it the night it happened!)
It was really fun interacting with fans on Twitter on the different game runs, Egoraptor’s performance, the Super Mario Maker levels, Reggie vs. Hungry, even the ending screen that featured the final screen from Super Mario World. It was my favorite E3 event from last year. Then the Digital Event happened and all the good vibes seemed to be sucked out and everyone was complaining about Metroid Prime: Federation Force, Animal Crossing: amiibo Festival and even Mario Tennis. I get that Sony showcased a lot of games, some people thought would never be seen in actual existence, and while the Digital Event did not have that one game that got me really excited, it was okay in my opinion. I would have like to see more games, but I was down on it, and the livestreams were still good.
In the end, I think that Digital Event really left a bad impression, and rendered everything else Nintendo did during E3 to near insignificance, even the Smash Direct and Best Buy demo games. It’s a shame that such a multifaceted E3 was basically left to rot. So while E3 this year might be more minimalist, I like that they do have a focus on Zelda Wii U and showing the game for the show. Yeah, there is no Digital Event, but come on: it’s Nintendo! They can do a Direct the week after E3 if they really wanted to. We’re well past the point where E3 is the only place stuff like this gets announced, so I have no problem with them giving Zelda some attention. Considering just how little we’ve seen of Zelda, I think it will be awesome to see it in-depth.
Nintendo seems to be utilizing E3 very differently than in previous shows, with the NX being announced later on. They have other games they could show off during the show, but they can also do that at public events like Comi-Con or gamescom or Pax or whatever. Zelda is one of their most anticipated announced games, and it’s been shrouded in secrecy for the longest time, and the fact it’s getting a whole day being shown off in extreme detail; I think that’s awesome. While I understand the frustration of Nintendo not showing its cards with the NX and beyond, I’m still looking forward to their E3 showing more than any other company, as usual.
(Author’s Note: This post is mostly a post I made to Facebook. It turned out longer than I was expecting so I decided to post it here.)
I’m 28-years-old today, and as a way of celebrating some of my favorite things: playing video games. I’ve decided to share a list of some of my favorite video games.
1. Kingdom Hearts (PS2/PS3)
My history with Kingdom Hearts is pretty lengthy. I first read about it GamePro magazine as a strange combination of Final Fantasy and Disney cartoon characters. I played it for the first time at a demo kiosk of my local F.Y.E. store. I would then spend years trying to beat it on my older brother’s PS2 whenever he came to visit, by my save file would always get deleted. After I finally got a PS2 of my own, Kingdom Hearts was the first game I got and I attempted to beat it again. As luck would have it, my save file was once again accidentally deleted when my younger brother. After that, I put in so much time to not only get to the point I was at before, but find some extras and secrets as I played. After years, I was finally able to beat it, and now I’m on that road again with Kingdom Hearts: Final Mix, part of the HD re-release on PS3.
I can’t overstate how much I love Kingdom Hearts. Not only does it combine my three favorite game genres (RPGs, action/adventure, and platforming) but it has not gotten old in all these years, at least not for me. I’ve must have started from the start a dozen times, but I just never get bore. I think it’s one of the most timeless games I have, and I just can’t get over how much fun I have playing it.
2. Super Mario Sunshine (Gamecube)
Super Mario Sunshine was one of the first game I was ever better than my older and younger brother. I know because they told me themselves, which was pretty rare for me. I never really cared about being good at a game, as long as I was having fun, but with Super Mario Sunshine, I felt a sense of pride about being decent at it. I got it with the Gamecube in the bundle, and it was the last game system bought for me by my parents. I loved it and Sunshine was such a fun game. Delfino Plaza and the interconnected levels felt really fun to explore and collect blue coins, Shines, and taking down Shadow Mario.
The game also features my favorite Mario power-up: the F.L.U.D.D. Unlike Mario’s other power-ups, which disappear after getting hit or your time-limit is up, the F.L.U.D.D. is not only necessary to beat the game, but also just navigating the various level. The hover ability, which is my favorite in the game, gave you the ability to close long games, or just make more precise jumps. I could go on, but this is a game that’s best played, in my opinion. It’s just a personal favorite.
3. Splatoon (Wii U)
Splatoon is just the perfect type of game for my current, daily responsibilities. Its pick-up-and-play nature just makes it easy to jump in for a few matches after a long day of work or school, and just mess around for a few hours trying to rank up or try out different weapons. There are some stages I suck at, does to my love for the Splattershot Jr. and short-range the short range, but I mostly have fun with this game. A game like this is just nice to have in my life right now, between all the single-player adventures.
4. The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker/Twilight Princess (Gamecube/Wii U)
The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker and Twilight Princess helped introduce to this series in a way Ocarina of Time and A Link to the Past never could. Not only were they easier for me to grasp at the time, but they were long, awesome adventures, and back when buying games were few and far between for me, they were welcome distractions from my everyday activities. They were also among the only games I was able to beat as a teenager, which was not common for me at all, and still isn’t. Whether it was the awesome cel-shaded world of Wind Waker or the awesome story and adventure of Twilight Princess, these games definitely left their triangular mark.
5. Final Fantasy IX/Tales of Symphonia (Playstation, Gamecube)
Final Fantasy IX and Tales of Symphonia were my defining RPGs experiences for the original Playstation (my first console) and Gamecube (my favorite game console.) They are different adventures, but they both had awesome worlds to explore, great character, multiple discs promising hours of gameplay, and I have yet to beat either of them, but I’ll get there someday. It’s hard nowadays for any game to harbor so much of my time without ever feeling like a chore, but these games kept me invested and I hope to finally complete one or both of them in the future. Either way, they represent the best RPGs had to offer for yours truly.
Last year was great for localizations of JRPGs and other genres. This year, however, looks even better. While I could go on and on about how it is great to see niche games come to North America, or how much I love these kinds of games in general, I think it would be better to keep things somewhat short and simple. Here are five games that are coming soon that I can’t wait to dive into this Spring and Summer.
5. Xblaze: Code Embryo
I don’t have much experience with the BlazBlue fighting games. I like the anime-inspired visuals, and appreciate the amount of lore Arc System Works have put into the dozens of characters, but I have yet to give the series a proper try. I think I may finally give the series a chance with Xblaze: Code Embryo. One of the coolest things about this game is that it’s a visual novel, a type of game does not have much presence in North America, so it’s pretty amazing that Aksys is localizing it. The story of the game takes place 150 years before the story of the BlazBlue games, and features a protagonist who finds his life turned upside down by an enigmatic girl named Es, demonic creatures, and mysterious organizations that may be more dangerous than they seem.
I’m cautiously excited about this game. After trying the recently released demo, I enjoyed the structure and the story was really compelling, (I wanted to keep playing far beyond the end of the demo.) I had a few gripes: the main character was kind of annoying, the story was a bit too cryptic at times, and the story seems really dark, so it will probably not be for the faint of heart. That being said, I definitely want to give this game a try. If it does well, it may open up the possibility of even more visual novels getting localized, and that would be great for gamers who want a different type of experience.
4. Mugen Souls Z
I rented the first Mugen Souls on Gamefly and distinctly remember getting three trophies during the opening cutscenes, (and a funny and unexpected bath scene!) At first I thought Mugen Souls Z was an enhanced version of the first game, but it is actually a full-fledged sequel, taking place after the events of the original Mugen Souls. I find myself wanting to give it a more proper, especially with the sequel on the way. I still like the chibi-design for the characters, and I appreciate that this game doesn’t take itself too seriously.
The over the top battles look fun and the cast looks like a nice group and anime girls. While I may hold off on getting it, I’m definitely interested in Mugen Souls Z.
3. Atelier Rorona Plus: The Apprentice of Arland
I am a big fan of the Atelier games on PS3. Atelier Totori was one of my first PS3 RPGs and I have much love for that game (as well as some unfinished business.) Atelier Ayesha, which came out last year, is one of my favorite PS3 games. Ayesha brought the series to a new land, Dusk, which is still being explored through the recently released Atelier Escha and Logy,and the upcoming game, Atelier Shallie, which is due in Japan in July. The series is making a return to Arland, however, with a remake in the first Atelier game on PS3, Atelier Rorona Plus.
Atelier Rorona Plus is features protagonist Rorona on a journey to become an alchemist. This game features a pretty big visual upgrade, compared to the original, and features new story possibilities, characters, items, monsters, and more. The game even features the protagonists of the other two Arland games, Totori and Ayesha! I’m really excited to finally give Rorona a try, and I’m glad that it will get released on PS3, in addition to PS Vita, next month.
2. Drakengard 3
I don’t have any experience with Drakengard 1 and 2 on PS2, I can’t help but be excited about Drakengard 3. Square-Enix has been a little weird about releasing this game, first making it exclusive to their own online store and having strange pre-order bonus tiers, before eventually letting the other stores offer it.
The game centers around several goddesses with the power to command dragons. This game serves as prequel to the other games and has quite a bit of lore surrounding it, much of which can be read on the official website. The story seems pretty dark, but the graphics look amazing. The character designs are awesome, and it’s just really interesting to see a Square-Enix game with so much blood. I’m sad there have not been more Square Enix developed games these last few years, but hopefully this one sends the PS3 off on a high note.
1. Battle Princess of Arcadias
When I first saw screenshots for Battle Princess of Arcadias last year, I immediately fell in love with its visual style. When I watched trailers and read about the different characters, I became more excited about it and hoped for a localization. Thankfully, NISAmerica answered the call and Battle Princess Arcadias is set to be released exclusively on the Playstation Network. It would have been nice to see the game get a physical release, (especially with the amazing boxart) I’m just it’s coming stateside.
The game stars Princess Plume on a quest to protect her world from the monsters that want to take ir over. This action RPG features multiple modes of battle, a ton of characters, hundreds of weapons, and a very vibrant and colorful artstyle. This game has been compared to the Sega Saturn game Princess Crown and that game’s spiritual successor, Odin Sphere. I have not played much of Odin Sphere, but I like the style of game, and this looks like a lot of fun. I’ll be looking forward to Battle Princess of Arcadias when it is released on PSN next month.
So, there you have it. I hoped you’ve enjoyed this look at some my most anticipated games of the next couple of months. I’m really sorry it has taken me so long to update this blog, but I hope to see you again soon.
Hello and welcome to Player One: Start. This is a blog about video games. This isn’t a blog dedicated to gaming news, but to video games themselves. What I mean by that is this blog will focus more on video games as source of entertainment. While news about the latest tech and game announcements may very well influence games I write about, I want to keep games themselves at the forefront. That being said, it is a brand new year and with 2013 long gone, there are some things I’d like to talk about in regards to last year.
I called 2013 the year of the JRPG. I honestly thought this honor was actually 2012 a while back, since that is when I first got the idea. However, after certain games I was really looking forward to got delayed into 2013, I decided to push it forward, and I’m glad I did. There were a lot of JRPGs released in 2013, from Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch and Atelier Ayesha: Alchemist of Dusk, to Shin Megami Tensei IV and Pokemon X and Y. There were more games than I was expected, and many were announced for localization in 2013. I had no idea the year would be so jam-packed. I’m upset that I was not able to cover more games, of which I brought several, and only really reported on two of them.
That is one thing I’d like to fix about 2013; I want to write in this blog more regularly. This is my third blog on WordPress, and it is probably the one I write in least. It’s not because I have less to say on video games versus animation and comic books, it’s just an issue of making time to write figuring out what to write about. I want to make more of an effort to write in this and my other blogs with more frequency.
I have some ideas of the things I’d like to write about in this blog in particular. One idea I had been taking a look at some underrated features in games and game consoles and accessories. Some things in gaming usually get recognition if they have an impact on the game industry as a whole, but I wanted to write about things that are less discussed, but still significant in and of themselves. I also wanted to write some game previews. While I doubt I will be able to sufficiently review a game with the amount same of commitment as fully fleshed out gaming sites, I would like to discuss games I am playing and go into why like (or dislike) them.
I would like to thank everyone for their patronage over the last year and reassure you that I will try my harder to get more varied articles on this blog for 2014. I’ll also try to get into some of the JRPG stuff I failed to cover last year. Thank you all for your patience, have a happy and blessed new year, and I hope to see you soon!
The “Tales” series is one of the classic JRPG franchises. While it may not have as much noteriety as Final Fantasy and Dragon Quest, it is a series that, for the last fifteen years has held its on with it action oriented combat system, genre-defying multiplayer action, and memorable stories and characters across its many originally named games. The game that started it all for me was Tales of Symphonia for the Nintendo Gamecube.
I got the Gamecube on a memorable Christmas morning; it was the special edition that had Super Mario Sunshine and a 54 block memory card packed in. The Gamecube gave me some great gaming experiences that still hold a special place in my heart today. One genre of game the Cube was a little lax on was the RPG, and when I first read about this game in GamePro, it got my attention. I remember the review that had some great things to say about it. I remember that Star Ocean: Til the End of Time for PS2 (which I didn’t have at the time but was still interested in) got a Fun Factor of 4.0 out of 5.0, while Tales got a 4.5 out of 5.0. I remember reading those review several times and wanting to play both, even though I could only really have one, since that were both exclusive to their platform.
Another review I remember was from X-Play, and one part of that review always stuck out to me. They showed footage during the review to show how long it took them to play through the game, and I believe it was about 79 hours! Back then, I wasn’t able to get every single game my little heart desired, so to me, the longer the game, the better. I finally took the plunge when the game was finally within my price range, and what awaited me was a grand RPG adventure.
While I can’t recall how I felt in my years of playing the game (I can’t even remember if I got to the second disc, but I’m pretty sure I did) I can tell you that I loved the game. The real-time combat grew on me over time. At first, I was expecting it to play like Kingdom Hearts, but the fighting was on a 2D plan and required way more strategy than I had expected. It was a game that I would put down for months at a time, but would jump back in and enjoy the ride while it lasted. Sadly, a few years ago, I traded the game in, unfinished, to get some money or trade-in credit, and my story, at the time, ended.
However, today I’m proud to say that I have got Tales of Symphonia back in my possession. I walked into a retro game store that I frequent and was surprised to see it again after so many years. I bought it a couple of hours later and after cleaning the case (something I used to do with my used game purchases) and flipping through the manual (something I rarely do with recent game purchase), I’m ready to have another adventure with this lost gem of a game.
Tales of Symphonia has been on my mind lately since it’s actually been in gaming news the last few months. With Tales of Xillia finally coming the Western PS3s this fall, Namco Bandai has not led up on the Tales news. There was a blurb that went up on several websites that a Tales series head said that Tales of Symphonia was actually the best-selling Tales game in the West, which absolutely amazes me. Tales of Symphonia was exclusive to the Gamecube in the US, despite Japan getting a PS2 port. Not only that, but there were a couple of Tales games made available to the PS2 after Symphonia’s release, perhaps in an attempt to capitalize on the successful Gamecube release. I’m glad it was this game in particular to get so much attention!
However, the story doesn’t end there. It was recently announced at a Tales event in the US that Tales of Symphonia, as well as its direct sequel Dawn of a New World, but be getting a HD Collection for PS3 title Tales of Symphonia Chronicles. Even better, it was announced shortly after that the US and Europe would also be getting the game in early 2013, meaning we gamers across the globe won’t have to wait as long as we did for Tales of Xillia, (not to mention the still unannounced localization of Tales of Xillia 2!)
With Operation Rainfall recently announcing that they will we doing their for JRPG livestream on none of than Tales of Symphonia, I have felt more and more compelled to play this game again after so many years. I will probably be getting the Chronicle HD collection, especially since I’ll finally be able to play the Wii console sequel, but I’m glad to have the Nintendo original again. I’m glad I’ve been able to share this story with you. Thank you for reading, and I’ll catch you later!
Written by Andrew Mathieu